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Latest From the Blog

Joe Pass

I owe a lot to Joe Pass. Outside of Django I have learned more from him than any other guitarist I can think of though you could probably include Pat Martino in that group.

I recently felt a “playing” slump which happens to musicians. For me, I can always snap out of by listening to Joe. So I put on my favorite Joe Pass album and, in my opinion, one of the very best Jazz guitar albums ever: “Intercontinental“.

I bought this album on vinyl when it first came out in 1973. It has an interesting history. It was recorded in Germany, in the heart of the Black Forest, by a studio/label that was well known for pristine recording technique and great taste. Joe was there to play guitar on an album by Jazz accordion great Art Van Damme. On the off days, apparently, the studio/label decided to make a Joe Pass trio album with the drummer (English) and the bass player (German). The result is the album I speak of. Highly recommended.

 

Current music on my iPod

I have been listening again to the two guitar duet albums that Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc recorded (Duet and Summertime). Probably the best acoustic guitar duet recordings I am a aware of.

Also, there is a “new” Pat Martino album. Actually, it is a live recording done more than ten years ago but just recently released. It is another duet record but this time it is guitar and piano (with Jim Ridl). The album is called Nexus and it has some really nice moments.

 

 

Dreams

I have pretty much been in a band of one kind or another since I was twelve years old.That is an absolute fact.

Consequently, I have played with many players over the past 50 years. My dreams at night often center around scenes that involve rehearsals or that moment right before performance on stage. In these dreams, I am with an ever changing cast of characters. All of them from various stages of my past. A drummer from my first band in eighth grade will be on stage with the violinist I play with currently, a bass player I played with for a few months in 1975 and a drummer I played with for four years in the early seventies will all magically be there at one time.

Honestly, these dreams are very recurrent and the cast is ever changing and ultimately include almost every player I have ever known. The situation always seems absolutely natural even though these specific players would never (not in any situation) be able to coexist.

This is an interesting dream and not unpleasant. I imagine there is some Freudian explanation but it is not required information as far as I am concerned.

Thieves and Poets (John Mc Laughlin)

I have always thought that John Mc Laughlin (the guitarist and composer and not the somewhat “right” political commentator) was of legendary status.

I am especially keen on Mc Laughlin’s acoustic guitar work. His early 1980’s albums like Belo Horizonte and Music Spoken Here are great records. But his 2003 record Thieves and Poets contains the three movement title track and it is wonderful in every regard in my opinion. Great composition, masterly playing and a beautiful overall sonic picture.

masterpiece.

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